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Husbands & Boyfriends in Prison For everyone who has a husband, boyfriend or male partner incarcerated.

View Poll Results: Who Has It Tougher, You or Him?
Me 152 44.19%
Him 192 55.81%
Voters: 344. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 08-19-2007, 10:13 AM
jusurgurl jusurgurl is offline
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Default How Hard Is It, Really?

So, I've been questioning lately how my guy spends his time. He works 5 days a week, operates a little "store" on the side, played ball up until it ended last week, has time to read, work and email me from a computer lab, and exercise outside... and sleep (rest).

It occurred to me that I work a demanding full-time job, am raising a preschooler, keeping the house clean, laundry done (have been fighting an ongoing ant problem---Lord, help---dealing with that next week), deal with my son wetting the bed occasionally and having to drag comforters and mattress covers to the laundromat weekly, deal with incidental issues regularly (like how the garbage guy dropped the recycling bin and broke it, or how I don't have a way to keep the grass trimmed in the back yard so I have to keep spraying it down, or the broken washer last month---more trips to the laundromat), and since my contract is coming upon a year in a couple weeks, I've been applying and interviewing for other positions (a full-time job in and of itself).

Finally, it just inflamed me to hear him say that he's been "too busy to write". That he gets a brief email off to me daily and calls (10 min) so the implication is that should be sufficient. He used to write letters almost daily so I know it's a matter of how he's choosing to allocate his time. It makes me feel as though he's "doing time" on me since I view communications as, not just the exchange of thoughts and ideas, but as a way to, from a distance, be there for the other when they need it emotionally.

I know I go the extra mile to say the things he needs, or provide him distractions if necessary, and I do this while I juggle all the other things in my life... because I've chosen to make space for him. He has been there for me too but my real feeling is that it's not as hard for him to do so so, yeah, I guess I weight my contributions a little heavier.

This really got me thinking this past week and I haven't been in communication with him since (mostly because I don't have internal resolution yet so, not knowing what I should think limits what I'm willing to say but, at the same time, I want distance to think about it). He and I have talked about how things should work, what we want, etc. when he gets out but I got to wondering if he's really up to life.

I know that it was a sense of entitlement that got him into his predicament in the first place and, while I do believe he is not the same person anymore and won't conduct himself the same once released, I wonder if he can make me happy with the level of effort he thinks is sufficient.

Because my life has been hard, doing all this by myself, I don't want to be resentful but I do want someone who will match me and I think that includes recognizing that life is just supposed to be tough, that we don't always get breaks, and that what makes us better is persisting in spite of all that.

I wonder if he's being weak or if I'm being critical. I think, "How hard is it for him in there?" Notwithstanding the obvious mental of the situation, I believe if roles were reversed, I would be reading everything I could get my hands on, praying, and writing (purging) in an effort to make sense of my own self, to ensure that things never went that way for me again, and to figure out a way to contribute meaningfully that didn't end up costing me or others.

Of course I'd want outside of my head and look for release and entertainment probably too but it feels like he thinks it's too much to ask of him that he get up early daily for years to go to work (when he can come back and sleep later if he puts a sign on his door), when life will most assuredly ask for more! I haven't had a vacation in years since I've had to work contracts. I do what I have to do to pay bills and keep things going.

So, from your perspective, how hard do you think it really is for him? For you? In your situation, do you feel it is definitely harder for him and that you "have your freedom" or, are you raising kids, holding down the home/bills on your own, working more because of his absence, etc.? I'm just wondering who you feel has it tougher.
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2007, 10:35 AM
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I think its equally hard for both of us. Maybe he is to busy to write because he's trying to get adjusted in there or maybe trying to keep hisself busy not to think of the outside so much.
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Old 08-19-2007, 10:48 AM
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Okay, I have been pondering this very thing recently. I am trying to do some things and put some things into place for when he comes home in a couple of years. But it is hard for me to accumulate a sufficient savings with all that I have to do on the outside and all that he requires on the inside. With that said, I think we have it equally tough in different ways. It is much harder for me without him here physically to re-assure and encourage me and to contribute financially to our life. On the other hand, he is in a facility where he is has limited ability to make simple decisions...he is dependent on outside contributions to finance his life...he is away from his family...
Yeah, it's pretty tough on both of us!

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Old 08-19-2007, 10:57 AM
jusurgurl jusurgurl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shya3
I think its equally hard for both of us. Maybe he is to busy to write because he's trying to get adjusted in there or maybe trying to keep hisself busy not to think of the outside so much.
He's been there for a few years so he's pretty well adjusted. He says that thinking about his future with me is how he spends his time throughout the day.

It's just, unless I reciprocate with the letter writing, he won't do it any more. But I feel like he has more time to devote to that than I do (and I like to receive the letters). In return, I write multiple emails and feel like I'm balancing out on that since he's a slow typist and never gets more than one longer email out.

This is more about expectations. I think he views our situations as equally difficult and that I should be able to do the same things he does and I don't feel that's accurate. In fact, I feel that keeping up with him is going above and beyond the call of duty sometimes. Now, if he were here to take pressure off, our time would be more equal.
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:01 AM
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I think we both have it pretty hard! But I think he has it harder since he is locked down in Ad-Seg and has been for almost 4 years.
We both kind of slow down on letters at certain times. Right now he has to take like 6 classes with alot of writing and so he has slowed. I stay on point with "jpay" and they print off the letters and deliver them within 48 hours so that helps.
He prefers my written letters so I send one at least once a week.
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:30 AM
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I selected its harder for me. Not because of the work and stuff, thats a given. But because I have to go out and work in the public, and I see women with their men, who get to actually touch and BE with them. Thats whats so hard for me....I can always handle working. I just can't handle seeing other couples that are happy.

Or when i see a coworker who is screwing around on her man, while he's out working his butt off for her. That makes me so angry!!! I want to yell at them and say "WHAT IF HE WERE IN JAIL, WOULD YOU BE SCREWING AROUND THEN!!!???!???!!!!!"

I love my man, and support him fully. Yet I sometimes wish i was on the inside, to preserve myself from seeing all that!! He gets mad, but i tell him, its just my thoughts not that I'd actually let that happen!
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2007, 11:47 AM
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I say him. I have all the material comforts and can go outside or anywhere that I please. He's stuck and can only do so much. The world is my playground while he stuck in his cube. I send him mail everyday. He doesn't write at all-never has. He calls a few times a day tho' but its not the same as being here and he knows what he's missing and since he's there, he feels bad about it all the time.
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Old 08-19-2007, 12:24 PM
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Hey, I fully relate to what you're saying! My husband and I were married for 8 years before he got released. He's back in now after being on mandatory supervision for over 5 years. He got his first technical violation. Rarely do any of the guys work an 8-hour day. Then they go to their cell or the day room to watch TV and play board games, read/write letters, etc. Or they go outside to the rec yard to sit and talk, jog, lift weights, play handball, etc. Life inside the walls is extremely S-L-O-W!

We're on the outside, trying to survive and provide a life for ouselves, our children, our extended family. Life for us is extremely fast paced. I too feel resentment when I know his only responsibility is going to work if they call him out to work, following the basic rules, going to chow three times a day (if he wants) and then basically centering his existence around himself! Some take classes. Right now my husband has only been called out to work maybe 7 times in the almost 4 months his been back in prison and he either pulled weeds in the flower bed or shelled peas or picked okra. What a challenging job!

At least he does write me often. But sometimes his letters are griping me out for not doing what he wants me to do, or not doing something fast enough to suit him. He sends me letters and writs and rebuttals I have to proof and then type up and then travel to a neighboring county to file with the court. Never mind that I'm taking care of my recently widowed 85 year old mother, have her place and my place to maintain, make sure she gets to her doctor's appointments, eats, etc. I mow both our places with no one's help. She has 3 acres and I have almost 2 acres. I maintain all our vehicles, fix the plumbing, replace the screen on the door, AND run our lawn equipment sales and service business while working in an unairconditioned warehouse and it's unheated too in the winter! I've hauled equipment, pushed dead riding mowers on and off more trailers and into customer's pickup truck beds more times than I'd like to remember! I have to provide leadership and encouragement to my employees and I've learned how to troubleshoot lots of things relating to mowers and then I have to translate it (when I'm able) to my technicians so they'll understand how to perform the work. Their main language is Spanish!

You go to school functions for your kids always alone. When I worked for the state, I would go alone to Christmas parties and my co-workers would have their spouses. Weddings and funerals I go alone. I'm afraid I'll be alone when my mother dies and I'm not looking forward to that at all.

My husband was locked up for a little over 14 years and he was amazed at how fast paced life in the world was!

Don't feel bad. I think we women are wonderful and these men owe us big time! Their own mothers and siblings ignore them. Many wives and girlfriends don't remain faithful to their men while they're locked up. I was completely faithful to my man as I am now that he's locked up again. Women like me are even more rare. Oh, he gets three meals a day, so don't ever let him tell you he's starving to death and you have to send him money. Many guys do that! Mine never did. He was unselfish in that respect and he'd tell me to make sure I had what I needed first. When I was a casemanager at the prison, mothers and wives would call, worried that their son or husband hadn't written. The solution was simple: Don't send them any money and they'll write really quick! JLH

Last edited by JLH; 08-19-2007 at 12:29 PM..
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2007, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLH
My husband was locked up for a little over 14 years and he was amazed at how fast paced life in the world was!
Hi JLH,
Thanks so much for posting. I can see you really do understand. We don't have any exchange of money because he's wanted to assure me that this is not what our relationship is or will be about so, that's a definite positive when it comes to the confusion factor.

But, as you point out, the pace is so much different than what they're used to. I'm afraid he may not be up to this. I want to be supportive; I do. I'm not a pusher in that I'm not prepared to put unnecessary pressure on him when I believe he's already feeling plenty of that in preparation for his release.

I'm just concerned that, when I hear him complaining about having to get up every morning for 4 years, that he's not understanding that that won't change with release! Life is that hard out here for me and others like me.
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Old 08-19-2007, 04:35 PM
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You have good points, jusurgurl. I remind my hon of this from time to time, too. I tell him after the first week of ummm, well, getting reacquainted, life will get back on track and he'll remember the "rat race." It won't be the blissfull vacation he thinks because I'll be working and my son will still have shool and things like that and he'll need to get work. But, I think it's a prison thing. It's foreign to them. The concept of doing something all of the time instead of finding something to do doesn't compute right now.

Now, as to who has it harder? My hon and I have agreed that it's equal. He's in prison but I'm doing both of our jobs and then some. For every "but I have to..." he has, I can counteroffer with my own. Then he runs out of them and I can still keep going. The main reason he even gets an equal is because it is prison and that sucks!

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Old 08-19-2007, 04:55 PM
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i definitely think its harder on him. sure it may not seem hard for the men who are incarcerated, many people like so say "they have nothing but time," when in fact they try to keep themselves busy. i know my man is enrolled in six different programs, works in the kitchen mon-sat, likes to exercise, needs to sleep and eat, and enjoys reading. i know sometimes there is no time for writing, sometimes you just dont feel like it. im also a full time college student working a job and having a social life so he understands when i dont write. it doesnt mean we dont think of eachother.

its also harder on him because hes seculded he cant get out, he cant do the things i can do. granted a lot of these men gave these things up on their own will by committing a crime, they are unable to do these things. my man would kill to go to the beach or something. not to mention they stare at the same people day in and day out, normally people theyd much rather not be staring at.

so im not sure if its hard on us both equally but i definitely know its no cake-walk for him.
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Old 08-19-2007, 04:59 PM
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Equally hard. I think I understand where you are coming from, though. In my case, he keeps the letters coming. Writing me is what he does to take him away from there, so to speak. This is not easy for either of us. He is accustomed to being the provider. And the fact that he can't drives him crazy.
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Old 08-19-2007, 05:56 PM
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Ditto to the sentiment that out lives are caotic. Here's alittle something that might help with the ant problem. I was infested not too long ago. I had them everywhere, kitchen, bathroom, etc..... Buy some "Terro". You can get it at Lowes, Home Depot, Wal-mart might have it. It's less than $10.00. It works on all ants. Fire ants included. It is a clear gel. It took me about 3 days to completely rid my house of them and they have not come back.
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tralynlee
Ditto to the sentiment that out lives are caotic. Here's alittle something that might help with the ant problem. I was infested not too long ago. I had them everywhere, kitchen, bathroom, etc..... Buy some "Terro". You can get it at Lowes, Home Depot, Wal-mart might have it. It's less than $10.00. It works on all ants. Fire ants included. It is a clear gel. It took me about 3 days to completely rid my house of them and they have not come back.
Thanks for that. The landlord is paying for Orkin to come out on Friday but it's probably a good idea for me to lay in a reserve too.
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:16 PM
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I think that I had it a lot harder than he did in there. He had it all in there, as far as prisons can go. He had visits all the time, phone calls to the max, letters and cards daily, and all the hygiene/clothes/food/candy/soda/fun things that he could want. He got free schooling through a Technical College because he was locked up. He got to play sports and play music, go to plays and other fun things.

While I was working 2 jobs and trying to keep up the house. I didn't eat well so he could have new shoes or a typewriter. Yes, he had to work in there. No, he didn't have AC in the summer. But GOD YES he had it so much easier than myself. And he admits that now ... he'll say "This life out here is really hard. Prison was so much easier, I wish the world was that easy." Sometimes he even says that he wants to go back to that world, where all was easy. I keep reminding him that it was mostly because of ME that his world was so easy, and that I would not be there LIKE THAT for him again if he ever went back. Emotionally, yes. Financially, no.
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Old 08-19-2007, 08:40 PM
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It depends on the day to depend on who i think it is harder on. There are some days when I think he has the easy life and I tell him we can trade places. Then there are other days when I do understand how it is hard for him and I do all I can to make it easier.

My guy writes usually a few times a week and I am fine with that. I try and get something to him in the mail each day even if it is just a few puzzles or something to read. I don't push him to write more because he says he lives the same day each day. Nothing really changes for him. Where he is at he doesn't have access to tv on a regular basis or a computer at all. So he is right it is just different people having the same drama over and over.

If I was dealing with this in my relationship, I would just be honest and say 'When you say you are too busy to write to me, it makes me feel as if you dont appreicate or care about me and my feelings." Try and compromise he will write to you xxx per day and you will write to him xxx.
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Old 08-19-2007, 10:51 PM
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I think it is hard on both of us as well, in different ways. I know he can't stand to hear me sad, knowing he cannot wrap his arms around me and make me feel better. Not being able to help me and the kids financially just kills him.
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Old 08-20-2007, 05:30 AM
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This I know is off topic, but through all this reading, one point jumped out at me........in California you can exchange emails....oh how I wish we could in Michigan.
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:57 AM
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I think it's hard on us both for different reasons and you ladies have made some great points.

Our men tend to forget that life still goes on out here in the real world. I love to write so it's no problem for me to write him a letter everyday, sometimes I write a day, it just depends on my mood. So he will always have something in the mail from me and he's now made it one of his goals to write to me everyday.

He's in there working his little job for about 4 hours a day, then all of the classes he's taking, bible study, church, the class he's teaching, he's got a lot going on. But he still knows that so do I and I still make it a priority to write to him everyday and so now he has to do the same.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:20 AM
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i think we both have it hard , but i do think i have it harder. yes i may have more freedom but on the outside i think its just harder. i have way more responsibility then him(as he has none) , more bills (as he has none) , our kids depend on me (not him at all), yes it must be hard to work 4 hours a day 3-4 times a week( i work 8 ,5 days a week), play softball or other sports when ever (i dont have time to pee somedays), have someone cooking for you all meals(If i dont cook the kids and myself dont eat). lol yea i know i have it harder!
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Old 08-26-2007, 06:59 AM
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WE both got sentenced. He is doing his time in prison, I am doing my time out here.
Harder? Id say differant
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Old 08-26-2007, 02:08 PM
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Personally, I found it to be harder on me than on him. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that he has it easy as pie or anything, but when it first went down...

I had to try and hold up, not only myself, but him as well (emotionally). Then, I had to try to go to work and act like everything was okay and lie about where he was. I had to deal with my whole family yelling at me for still talking to him and I had his family calling me at all hours to find out information because they didn't have a computer and they act like they don't know how to call information. I think what made it even harder on myself was being 19 and NO WHERE NEAR prepared for what all went down. And it all happened so quickly, you know? They only really have to come to terms with their situation... we have to come to terms with everything, and in my case, everyone else.

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Old 08-27-2007, 07:27 PM
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i always say he has it harder because he has to wake up day in and day out in that place, at least for me at 3pm on sundays I get to leave. He says I have it harder hands down because of all the crap that I have to deal with between friends and family. I say its a tie!
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:43 PM
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I thinkit's really hard on both of us. For him at first adjusting,dealing with all kinds of people he can't stand, trying to stay safe, stuff like that. Lately I've been thinking it's me who has it harder. I don't think he has any concept of time anymore. He can't understand why it takes 2 hours at Walmart or why shopping for school clothes takes so long. Stuff like that. He really pisses me off at how he acts like I can just drop everything to do what he wants. I think that he thinks I am doing nothing. He asked mejusttonight why Iam so stressedabout work, he said it'snotlike I've been busy before. I'm getting paid less than half of what I usto make and the work is harder,so it takes longer. I'm trying to schedule things all over the county, instead of close to home, like before. And I can't work till 10pm most nights, I've got to be done by 4 to get the kids off the bus, feed them and take them two 2 1/2 hour football practice. I feel like, no I know he doesn't understand. I guess he'll see soon.

Anyway about the writting. That stopped for both of us a long time ago, ever since he's been close enough for me to see him every weekend. He calls twice a day and I've got too much to do to be writting all the time. Hell, we wouldn't have much to say anyway. We say it all on the phone and the weekend. And lord knows there not much going on in there for him to tell me about.
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbie16118
i think we both have it hard , but i do think i have it harder. yes i may have more freedom but on the outside i think its just harder. i have way more responsibility then him(as he has none) , more bills (as he has none) , our kids depend on me (not him at all), yes it must be hard to work 4 hours a day 3-4 times a week( i work 8 ,5 days a week), play softball or other sports when ever (i dont have time to pee somedays), have someone cooking for you all meals(If i dont cook the kids and myself dont eat). lol yea i know i have it harder!
I agree 100%!!!

I think people with kids have it a little harder that the ones that don't, more responsibility.
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